Rare Coin Grading Scale

Both PCGS and NGC numismatic coin grading services use the same scale when determining the condition of rare coins. Below is a table with the details of each grade and the required condition of the coin in order to meet each specific grade.

Name Grade Description
Proof PR A specifically made coin distinguished by sharpness of detail and usually with a brilliant mirror-like surfaces. Proof refers to the method of manufacture and is not a condition.
Mint State MS Can be interchanged with uncirculated (UNC) to describe “new” coins showing no trace of wear
Poor PO-1 Identifiable date and type
Fair FR-2 Mostly worn, though some detail is visible
About Good AG-3 Worn rims but most lettering is readable though worn
Good G-4 Slightly worn rims, flat detail, peripheral lettering nearly full
Good G-6 Rims complete with flat detail, peripheral lettering full
Very Good VG-8 Design worn with slight detail
Fine F-12 Some deeply recessed areas with detail, all lettering sharp
Fine F-15 Slightly more detail in the recessed areas, all lettering sharp
Very Fine VF-20 Some definition of detail, all lettering full and sharp
Very Fine VF-25 Slightly more definition in the detail and lettering
Choice Very Fine VF-30 Almost complete detail with flat areas
Choice Very Fine VF-35 Detail is complete but worn with high points flat
Extremely Fine EF-40 Detail is complete with most high points slightly flat
Choice Extremely Fine EF-45 Detail is complete with some high points flat
Choice Extremely Fine EF-45+ Detail is complete with a few high points flat. Superior eye appeal.
About Uncirculated AU-50 Full detail with friction over most of the surface, slight flatness on high points
About Uncirculated AU-50+ Full detail with friction over most of the surface, very slight flatness on high points. Good eye appeal.
About Uncirculated AU-53 Full detail with friction over 1/2 or more of surface, very slight flatness on high points
About Uncirculated AU-53+ Full detail with friction on only 1/2 of surface, extremely slight flatness on high points. Positive eye appeal.
Choice About Uncirculated AU-55 Full detail with friction on less than 1/2 surface, mainly on high points
Choice About Uncirculated AU-55+ Full detail with slight friction on less than 1/2 of surface, on high points. Eye appeal is good.
Borderline Uncirculated AU-58 Full detail with only slight friction on the high points
Borderline Uncirculated AU-58+ Full detail with the barest trace of friction on the highest points. Superior eye appeal.
Mint State – Poor MS-60 No wear. May have many heavy marks/hairlines, strike may not be full
Mint State – Meets MS-61 No wear. Multiple heavy marks/hairlines, strike may not be full
Mint State – Choice MS-62 No wear. Slightly less marks/hairlines, strike may not be full
Mint State – Choice MS-62+ No wear. Still slightly above number of marks/hairlines, strike may not be full. Attractive eye appeal for grade.
Mint State – Choice BU MS-63 Moderate number/size marks/hairlines, strike may not be full
Mint State – Choice BU MS-63+ Average number of marks/hairlines, strike will be close to average. Good eye appeal for grade.
Mint State – Borderline Gem MS-64 Few marks/hairlines or a couple of severe ones, strike should be average or above
Mint State – Borderline Gem MS-64+ Very few marks/hairlines or a couple of heavier ones, strike should be average or above. Superior eye appeal.
Mint State – Gem MS-65 Minor marks/hairlines though none in focal areas, above average strike
Mint State – Gem MS-65+ Very minor marks/hairlines though none in focal areas, above average strike and eye appeal
Mint State – Above Average MS-66 Few minor marks/hairlines not in focal areas, good strike
Mint State – Above Average MS-PR66+ Very few minor marks/hairlines not in focal areas, very good strike with superior eye appeal
Mint State – Spectacular MS-67 Virtually as struck with minor imperfections, very well struck
Mint State – Spectacular MS-67+ Virtually as struck with very minor imperfections, very well struck with attractive eye appeal
Mint State – Near Perfect MS-68 Virtually as struck with slight imperfections, slightest weakness of strike allowed
Mint State – Near Perfect MS-68+ Virtually as struck with very slight imperfections, the strike must be virtually full. Eye appeal must be very good.
Mint State – Wonderous MS-69 Virtually as struck with minuscule imperfections, near full strike necessary
Mint State – Perfect MS-70 As struck, with full strike